How to use drone data to uncover problems on site

Traditionally, the only way to see what problems have arisen on site is through physically being there to do checks and by reading reports. Whether those reports are created through lengthy on-site inspections and surveys, daily briefings, or as part of QA checks, observing work is a pillar of communication on site.

Why are these checks so important?

It’s important to do checks to know whether problems have arisen on site. Issues that go unchecked like designs clashing, damaged work, and missing materials can lead to project delays, rework, and huge added costs. A report from BRE found that rework and delays in the UK construction industry cost at least £20 billion to repair or rebuild every year. So the faster we can detect problems through frequent, accurate reporting, the more time and money that will be saved on any given project.

Traditional ways of working just aren’t cutting it

Often projects are very expensive and time-consuming. Traditional ways of surveying require lots of time and resources, especially on a large site, taking anywhere from weeks to months to complete a single survey. By which point, the gathered data is out of date and new problems can arise before old ones get resolved.

Manual, ground-based surveys can also be unsafe for workers. Health and safety in construction is important - it’s an industry that by nature is prone to hazardous situations. Although there are some situations that call for inspection by a person on-site, many workplace injuries can be eliminated by simply keeping people out of harm’s way. During any construction activity conducted on busy roads, for example, the interaction of workers and traffic always adds additional risk.

For outside stakeholders, getting to site is often not possible, and traditional methods for engaging others are a poor substitute for in-person visits, where they lose a lot of context in translation.

Observe work closer to real-time with drone data

To put it simply, surveying a site using drones is fast. And in the time it takes, you gain access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge about nearly every aspect of your project. The initial data capture can take anywhere from a number of minutes to hours, and can be delivered to your team in a matter of days. This means you can access up to date, accurate data more frequently - and keep track of earthworks, equipment, and structures far closer to real-time than through slower, traditional methods.

Visualisations derived from drone data allow anyone in your team to work with a visual and intuitive 3D representation of your project. Share snapshots of your site with stakeholders and clients to seamlessly communicate progress on a project’s status and easily detect problems. Visualised on online platforms, like Mapp, enables vital collaboration and information exchange where traditional systems have been stretched.

3D point cloud data captured via drone, hosted online in Mapp with CAD

What is Mapp and how can it help my team?

Mapp is our remote working platform for the AEC industry. It allows you to integrate all asset and topographical information in a realistic 3D and 2D environment.

In Mapp, integrating designs into a digital copy of your site allows you to virtually monitor and

track site progress remotely. Mapp uses up-to-date photographs to create a 3D model, so it’s easy to see how designs relate to the current state of your site. You are able to conduct clash detection simply, quickly, and in context with the real-world.

For off-site users, like contractors and designers, Mapp provides a realistic alternative to expensive in-person visits. An accurate and up-to-date model, rich with context provided by layers of information, annotations and shared files, enables off-site users to move around freely, getting perspective of the entire site to see what’s going on, what work has been done, and if there are any immediate problems that have arisen.

Drone data is transforming how our clients work. Read customer success stories here.